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Old 01-21-2008, 06:07 PM   #901
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Interesting review laz. I've been meaning to get into a wider range of feature length anime for a while now and judging by your review this film and director look a good place to start. Besides Ghibli / Miyazaki I've only seen Akira, Ghost in the Shell and the Street Fighter series, so thanks for the pointer.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:56 PM   #902
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Have you seen the Ghost in the Shell sequel? It's not as fun as the original, but in terms of thematics and realization it makes Blade Runner look like a Sci-Fi Channel original movie.

I'm not exaggerating.

I'd also recommend Metropolis and Steamboy, both written by Katsuhiro Otomo, who worked on Akira.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:48 PM   #903
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There Will Be Blood

Wow. It was an unusual theatrical experience for me in that, like No Country for Old Men, I kept getting distracted by the landscape I know so well and by people in the background that I know, one person in particular a good friend, a woman, who always seemed to be hovering in the background. She said, by the way, that for two months of filming she never heard Daniel Day-Lewis' real voice, he never left character, only toned it down a bit in casual conversation. Anyway, I have no words for his performance. Just astonishing. Can't say I loved the film, but I loved the film-making, I loved the soundtrack, I loved Daniel Day-Lewis and the extraordinary Paul Dano, but something kept me from getting emotionally involved. There was so much going on, I haven't absorbed it all yet, and don't know what else to say right now.
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:36 PM   #904
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus
Have you seen the Ghost in the Shell sequel? It's not as fun as the original, but in terms of thematics and realization it makes Blade Runner look like a Sci-Fi Channel original movie.

I'm not exaggerating.

I'd also recommend Metropolis and Steamboy, both written by Katsuhiro Otomo, who worked on Akira.
Haven't seen Innocence yet, but I did read the reviews when it came out with the drastic departure in tone from the original being highlighted.

I'll look into all of those that you've mentioned. Lovefilm seem to carry most of them so I'm spoilt for choice.

-----------------------------

The Warrior King
Banal plot, shoddy script and amateur acting can't get in the way of some of the most spectacular martial arts films I've seen. Following on from the breakthrough success of Ong-Bak, Tony Jaa sets the western world firmly in his sights as his newest film sees him travel from Thailand to Sydney to rescue the elephants some naughty goons stole from him.

What really marks this film out from a lot of recent martial arts films (Crouching Tiger, Hero, etc) is the lack of wires and CGI in the fight scenes - they're all performed without any technical assistance (well, save for some blue screen during the helicopter finale). Tony Jaa combines the stunning acrobatics of Jackie Chan with the sheer force of Bruce Lee to audacious, bone-crunching effect. Also of note are the long takes scattered through the film, including a four minute sustained shot that follows Tony as he works his way up four circular floors of a restaurant, dispatching goons left, right and centre with brutal efficiency.

If you're in the mood for some amazing action without any pretensions, check this out. Just keep the fast forward button close by because everything in between the action really is shite.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:23 PM   #905
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This is England

Meh, it was alright. I'd heard such great things about it, and I wasn't very impressed at all. It's a look at the skinheads of England, who are quite different from neo-Nazis. They're more nationalists than anything else. The last 20 minutes are the best and most emotionally gripping of the movie.

On the bright side, the original score was absolutely gorgeous, and it matches up with the stock footage used from the early 1980s England perfectly.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:48 PM   #906
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Originally posted by onebloodonelife
This is England

Meh, it was alright. I'd heard such great things about it, and I wasn't very impressed at all. It's a look at the skinheads of England, who are quite different from neo-Nazis. They're more nationalists than anything else. The last 20 minutes are the best and most emotionally gripping of the movie.

On the bright side, the original score was absolutely gorgeous, and it matches up with the stock footage used from the early 1980s England perfectly.
I just saw this last night, too, and thought it was fantastic.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:33 PM   #907
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This Is England?


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Old 01-24-2008, 11:21 PM   #908
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See it--for the kid and the score, as onebloodonelife pointed out, if nothing else. But I thought the whole film was phenomenal. I didn't know anything about it before I rented it, either--just saw it on some "best of" list.

This is England
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:30 PM   #909
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus
Bwa ha haaaaaaaaa!
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:37 PM   #910
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl



See it--for the kid and the score, as onebloodonelife pointed out, if nothing else. But I thought the whole film was phenomenal. I didn't know anything about it before I rented it, either--just saw it on some "best of" list.
I'd heard great things about it, but I don't know, I just ended up thinking it could have been better throughout the entire movie. I think I was expecting more of a neo-Nazi type movie, which IMO has been done the best by American History X and very well with The Believer. Though, without a doubt, it was an excellent movie to portray the reasoning behind the skinhead movement in England.

The kid is hilarious and does a nice job as well as joyfulgirl said.

I'd still recommend the movie; it just didn't quite live up to my expectations.
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:44 AM   #911
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Juno - 7/10

A good lil' movie that, just like Little Miss Sunshine, got blown ridiculously out of proportion (Best Director and Picture noms? come on), but I still enjoyed it. I wasn't sure if I would for the first twenty minutes or so: pop culture references and clever one-liners are all good and fine but when they're packed together so densely it just starts to feel exhausting and calculatingly hip and makes you crave for some damn plain talk. In the end though the film won me over mostly because of the great ensemble, and because it clearly cared about its characters and made me care in turn.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:39 PM   #912
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"The Namesake"

Good movie, however, I was disappointed that the storyline was different from how it was advertised. Trailers showed that the film was about a young Indian couple in an arranged marriage, come to the America, learn American ways and fall in love. While that is part of the movie, it was the subplot. The film is mostly about their son and how he accepts his given name. Because of that, I am only giving this movie a 7 out of 10. Nice storyline, good acting, but why not advertise what it is really about besides have the audience expect something else?
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:22 AM   #913
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Watched two movies today:

Fast Food Nation

I thought it was a well done movie about the yuckiness of the fast food industry. One thing that got annoying though was all of the cameos by random stars, like Avril Lavigne.

6.5/10

Amélie

Interesting French film that I liked a lot. It's fairly quirky. I thought it was interesting and liked that there wasn't a lot of dialogue between the characters themselves, but the narrator told most of the story instead.

7.5 or 8/10
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:26 AM   #914
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Blueberry (a.k.a Renegade) (Jan Kounen, 2004)

Wow. Uhh, I don't know what to say. I had read about this film before, as it had trouble getting a release in the United States; I'm actually not sure if it actually made it to the theatres here.

This is a mystical Western starring Vincent Cassel (!) and for a while I wasn't sure if he was dubbed or not. It's confusing because some French is spoken, and subtitled, yet Cassel is speaking English. At times I thought perhaps he had originally recorded his lines in French, and was then dubbing over them for the English version, as he speaks English well. Over the course of the film it appeared he wasn't dubbed. I don't know.

Anyway. this is somewhat related to The Missing in that it dabbles heavily in Native American folklore and visions. The similarities really end there as this isn't the kind of classic-style Western that Ron Howard made. It uses a lot of that Peter Jackson floaty steadicam that I'm not a huge fan of, but there's also some very striking and well-composed static shots as well. It's hard to sum up the plot, but essentially Cassel is a guy who after a traumatic experience, spends years recovering with a Native American tribe, and absorbs their culture and language. He then returns to frontier civilization and becomes a lawman, where at some point he's forced to deal with some figures from his past, as well as finding a way to balance the dual nature of white man and Indian inside him. That sounds kind of serious, but the film is a lot of fun, and also has some really trippy psychedelic vision quest type scenes that are rather jaw-dropping. It's based on a series of comics by French artist Moebius (who also did design work for Alien and The Fifth Element, incidentally), so if you know him it might give you an idea of what you're in for.

The cast alone should raise interest; in addition to Cassel you have:

Michael Madsen
Eddie Izzard
Juliette Lewis
Ernest Borgnine
Colm Meany (O'Brien from Star Trek: TNG)
Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett!)

I don't know about you, but that roster was enough for me to buy this sight unseen.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:44 PM   #915
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There Will Be Blood

I'm not really sure what to make of it, to be honest. The last section of the film was so WTF that it almost erased my enjoyment of everything leading up to it.

I mean, everything that happened made sense to me (other than the thing with the bowling pin, to be somewhat non-spoilery about it), but I don't know ... maybe too much time passed between the previous sections and then BAM! It's 1927 and so much has progressed with Daniel ... I don't know. It was so much WTF.

But everything up to that, I thought was very good. It was looooong (I found myself looking at my watch once or twice), and I have to admit that I didn't care for Mr. Radiohead's score all that much, but I was very interested in finding out what was going to happen.

This wasn't a movie I would have gone to see on plot/director alone. I mainly wanted to see it to see what all the fuss was about DDL's performance. And he was FANTASTIC - just give him the Oscar now. And I'm happy that I can say I've seen all the best picture nominees this year (can't remember the last year I saw all of them).

I think it needs to sit with me a while longer, but those are my thoughts now.

Edited to add: I'm pretty sure I didn't like the ending, but I have no frelling idea how else it could have ended.
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